When Whatcom County photographer Chad DeRosa began shooting photos of custom motorcycles, little did he know that it would lead him to a multi-year project working with a team of filmmakers in Whatcom County’s burgeoning film industry to create a full-length documentary, Out of Nothing.
The film follows a group of four Whatcom County men, Jason Omer, Bill Woods and brothers Mark and Carl Bjorkland, who share a passion for building custom motorcycles and racing them against world speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. But what started as a story about making motorcycles became much, much more.
Chad started photographing the custom motorcycles the four men were building as part of his photography business. Soon he became intrigued with their quest on the Salt Flats, and began filming their efforts both in Bellingham and the races at Bonneville. After coming home from Utah with over 80 hours of footage, he realized two things: this was a story that simply had to be told, and he couldn’t do it alone. “I had all this footage, and thought, ‘I’m a one-man show; I can’t do this all by myself.’” This led to his friend Andrew Lahmann agreeing to produce the film and assembling a team of local talent including himself, Producer Ryan Stiles, Director/Executive Producer Chad DeRosa, Associate Producers Jordan Donovan and Colin Dalvit, and Executive Producers Logan Barnett and Mark Bjorklund.
“The thing is, everybody has a dream. That’s just human nature,” says Chad. “This is a story about working hard, doing your day job, because we all have to survive, but it’s also a story about spending so much of the rest of your time chasing this dream. They spend 360 days a year building these motorcycles so that they can spend 5 days a year racing them, and then it starts all over again. It became a story about the human element, what it takes to be that dedicated to a dream.”
And in this case, the dream is racing at Bonneville, in motorcycles you’ve designed and built, not purchased. It’s a bit like the Olympics; getting to Bonneville is a huge achievement. If you should happen to set a record, that’s a gold medal; simply getting there is a huge triumph.
“One thing that’s great about these four guys,” says Jordan Donovan, “is that they each have their own specialties, things they are really good at, and they lend [those] to each other. That’s one of the many reasons for the title of the movie: they are building something out of nothing. Scrapping together from a pile of metal, and with this guy’s know-how, and that guy’s tools, you have your dream.”
As the film moves into post-production, another level of similarity between the documentary and its subjects becomes apparent. “The film is about chasing your dream, and achieving that. That’s what’s happened for us as filmmakers,” says Donovan. “While we’ve been making a movie about people achieving their dream, we’ve done that as well.”
“Anything is possible,” sums up DeRosa. “If you want something bad enough, you can put your mind to it. You can make something out of it.”
Jason Omer, whose next short-term goal is breaking 200mph, agrees: “There’s no limit. You can do whatever you can dream of. With our world, and the technology, with what’s possible, and initiative, you can do whatever you want.”
He pauses, then says, “The best thing so far: the friends I’ve made from the movie crew. They have all become friends of mine. Not only is the movie about the 4 of us, the whole group has become this greater team. The story has almost become about the greater team now too.”
Whether it’s racing motorcycles you built out of a pile of metal—out of nothing—or seeing the inspirational story of a group of friends and enthusiasts chasing their dream, and turning that into a full-length documentary—also out of nothing—everyone involved with this film is an example of what happens when you live your dream. Hard work, persistence, and a strong vision on so many levels are what made Out of Nothing, which will be coming soon to film festivals around the world.
To see the trailer visit www.outofnothingmovie.com.